David and Christy Lieder have developed a center for family martial arts with a specialized program for special needs students, while simultaneously integrating western family values within an eastern art form.
"We wanted to create a legacy for our children," Christy said. "We just want good morals and good values being taught in the martial arts industry. We don't just want to confine it to martial arts schools. We want to make that our world."
Christy and David's business began to grow when their oldest son Kris came home from college to teach at the center. After moving to a 13,000-square-foot location in 2010, five of the seven children became instructors after achieving their black belts in Taekwondo.
"We don't preach here," Christy said. "We just uphold what we consider as Christian values: morally respectful, courteous and kind."
After working with a cerebral palsy and blind student in 2006, All Star Martial Arts developed a nationwide special needs martial arts program.
Christy and David certify and train instructors in working with special needs students. Curriculum is based on the child's physical ability and focuses on increasing confidence and developing mental strength.
The program has worked students from wheelchairs onto walkers and balance partners as well as founded Inspiring Possibilities—a nonprofit organization dedicated to special needs students within martial arts.
Annual tournaments strictly for special needs students take place at All Star Marital Arts and have reached national and international recognition with the first special needs student from Ireland competing this year.
The Amateur Athletics Union permits the Lieders to host the special needs division as part of the taekwondo organization. With representatives from five to 10 states traveling to compete at All Star Martial Arts, Christy continues to work to expand the special needs programs outside of her center.
"In my eyes, once that happens this year, then the other AAU organizations will be able to take part and see that special needs students can join their organizations as well," she said.
Women's Self Protection Courses
Saturdays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- July 27—"Let Me Go": Abduction and kidnapping prevention strategies
- Aug. 10—"Who is following me?": Effective counter surveillance techniques
- Aug. 24—"Breaking free": Overcoming domestic violence
- Sept. 14—"You don't want to get close to me": Techniques to bring your attacker into your attack
- Sept. 28—"Bring on the pressure": Training under pressure is important to learn quickly and respond with attacks.
- Each class: $20, $15 for pre-registration
Ages 4 through 12
Time: 8 a.m. – noon
Students learn different weapons each week through games, art projects and padded weapon contests.
- Bo Staff week: July 22-26
- Sword week: Aug. 12-16
- One week: $150, Two weeks: $275
- All three weeks: $350
10 Weeks of Summer
- July 22-27: Sports Jersey
- July 29-Aug. 3: Nerf Gun Wars
- Aug. 5-10: Board Breaking
- Aug. 12-17: Stranger Danger
Every class wins a prize and every night wins a prize to encourage students to get involved.
All Star Martial Arts
14405 Telge Road
Hours: Mon.–Thu. 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Fri. 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sat. 8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.